Diggle. If that name means anything to you then you’re probably going to love every minute spent reading Green Arrow #25. It’s a fantastic little glimpse at Ollie’s first moments off the island and an even more wonderful introduction of a character who was first seen on the CW series “Arrow.” Diggle made a brief appearance in issue #24, but here is where we really learn how he and Ollie’s partnership began. Along the way you’ll even get some nice set-up for a future story arc, which makes this a terrific jumping-on point for new readers. And the artwork? Sorrentino’s unique style blends well with Marcello Maiolo’s colors to give the book an eye-catching look that stands out from everything else on the shelf. Oh… wait, this is a Batman site– what about Zero Year?!

In issue #25 we learn that the Emerald Archer’s first foray into superheroics came not in Seattle or Star City, but Gotham during Zero Year. Upon his return from the island he discovers that his mother had gone to the now-power-less town to use the Queen wealth to provide much needed aid to Gotham refugees who were about to be faced with yet another catastrophe in the form of an incoming hurricane. Not about to lose his mother after all the trials he’s been put through, Oliver fuels up the jet and flies to Gotham for a rescue mission.

Batman plays a much larger role in Jeff Lemire’s story than he did in Greg Pak’s Action Comics #25, but it’s still quite a small one there to remind you that this is indeed a crossover event. This is a Green Arrow story first and foremost but the Batman tie-in doesn’t scream “horrendous cash-grab tie-in!” The creators did a fine job of connecting their story to the events of Zero Year, but at the end of the day the actions you see on the page are important only to Green Arrow fans and not Batman ones. The comic even features an 8-page backup with crosshatch-infused art by Denys Cowan that has nothing to do with Batman’s plight whatsoever, it’s just a great little short about how Ollie and Diggle came to an agreement.

All other points will be made in spoiler tags:

Spoiler

  • It was really odd and felt like it had to be a miscomunication between the writer and artist when the first arrow pierced Killer Moth’s hand. Nobody acknowledges the fact that an arrow just went through the man’s hand at all and we don’t get a reveal of Green Arrow until much later when he does essentially the same thing
  • The New 52 Killer Moth is… interesting. He looks like Gary Oldman’s character Zorg from The Fifth Element but speaks like The Monarch from Venture Bros. (there is a line that’s very similar to the cartoon’s “Beware the sting of the mighty Monarch!”) I liked that the cannisters on his back had the look of wings, but I’m still not sold on the idea of a gun that shoots concentrated air blasts. Didn’t he used to shoot a cocoon gun? 
  • The full page back-and-forth punching of Killer Moth was too silly for my tastes. I liked the presentation of these blows by the artist, but if we actually pulled the perspective back what would we see? Batman and Green Arrow standing side-by-side taking turns popping this guy or maybe they would be bouncing him from one side of the room to the other in-between strikes… it’s funny I suppose, but it felt pretty out of character for Batman to engage in banter while smacking another man back and forth, back and forth
  • It should have been good to see Oliver with facial hair but he’s still drawn so babyfaced that the beard looked kind of ridiculous when Sorrentino drew it. The look played much better in Cowan’s far grittier back-up tale

Recommended If…

  • You’re a fan of the CW series “Arrow”
  • Diggle is your favorite character on that show and you want to see his backstory in the comics
  • Killer Moth is a villain near and dear to your heart
  • Lemire’s Green Arrow is a comic you follow regularly, this issue sets up a new storyline
  • You’ve been looking for a good jumping-on point for Green Arrow

Overall

This was good. If you’re a fan of Green Arrow then it’s an absolute must-buy and if you have been at all curious about the series then I think this is a terrific jumping on point. However, if you don’t care about Ollie then you can probably skip it. There’s nothing here that really adds to the overall Zero Year story, but you do come away with a fun scene between Batman and a proto-Killer Moth. Does it look like an unnecessary tie-in? Yes. Is it still an enjoyable read? Absolutely.

SCORE: 8/10